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Wishing you all a Happy New Year once again. Hopefully your days have been merry and bright!


shower walls with notches for the niche

While we have been making some headway with the job of insulating this old rintamamiestalo, there seems to be yet even more of that to do before it’s all said and done. It’s really hard to believe that we’d still be stuffing Ecovillalevy in nooks and crannies, but that’s been the case for the last long while…

The FinnFoam portion of the insulating job seems to be finally over. It was relatively easy to install and was by-far the least messy as compared to SPU-steristeet, which when cut leaves shreds of the foam bits everywhere, making it really difficult to clean up. The small particles become statically charged too in the winter-time conditions, so the bits stick to all of your clothing. You would not believe how hard it is to get this stuff cleaned up! I look forward to the day when there aren’t any traces of those foam bits in the house!


pitiful journey of a wayward cabinet…

Once the upstairs bathroom tiling was completed and we had the luxury of the indoor toilet for a whole weekend, Pete ripped out the vanity and sink the following Monday.  The whole outfit was moved over 3 inches in order to allow for door trim molding. It all worked out in the end. (Someday we’ll get around to actually putting the trim on.)

When the second-go-round of cabinet and sink installation was completed, Pete devoted his time to getting a jump on the shower area downstairs. There was a lot to do there, including establishing where exactly to put the bathroom walls. The architect plans had once again come up wanting, so those plans were tweaked somewhat here and there to get a more favorable result. The sauna area has been reduced in size and is now confined to the ‘bumped out’ front space of the new construction. There’d been an idea to extend the sauna into the ‘bathroom-shower’ space, but that idea was abandoned once I convinced Pekka we really didn’t require such a large sauna for just 2 people. And, the extra space in the shower and bathroom would be enjoyed everyday.

WP_20150105_001About the time Pete got this all up, (see above) I realized it wasn’t the best use of space and talked everyone into modifying the layout. We took out the ‘door’ framing and pushed back the wall that divides the bathroom from the shower approximately 18 inches. It left us with a bathroom that feels larger and a shower that isn’t tunnel-ish. 🙂

WP_20150111_062Above you can see the effect of placing the door frame in the hallway. Also, the remaining shower walls have been installed and waterproofed with a thick grey-colored sealant. You can almost make out the niche/shelf which runs horizontally along the wall of the shower. The niche ends just to the left of the shower water valves (out of view) making a useful place to locate shampoo, etc. I saw this idea in Houzz and really liked it. Niches have been around a long time, but the idea of extending one like this is different. It’s going to look really great when all the tiling is in place.

Speaking of tiling, Pekka and I were trying to hammer out late last night just where-to-use-what, when it became alarmingly apparent we didn’t actually have enough tile on hand to finish much of anything. Not sure what happened there with the tile purchase. :/  I guess it can be chalked up to one of those hard lessons of home remodeling… measure twice – cut once, or measure twice – buy the right amount of tile.  So some swapping this for that, and just maybe it will all be okay. I have my fingers crossed for luck! But it might require a trip to the tile store…


Meanwhile, upstairs the air handling pipes are being put in, and you can see some of them in the picture here. The duct-work pipes run throughout the old house and new construction. Additional insulation was placed within the upstairs floor, then covered in the brown paper which is supposed to reduce dust. Stringers running on top of it all. Just about ready for the flooring! Our electrician has been noticeably absent these last few weeks. His absence is impeding overall progress, since many areas consist of electrical connections that aren’t in place yet. grrr.


finger-board (sormilauta)

Something similar to this wall board was previously installed in the old front porch. It’s pretty old-fashioned looking, but I like it and thought it would be nice to put it back in there again once we had the porch insulated. There’s still quite a bit left to do in the porch before it’s done, only these walls have been finished so far. And of course this area of work is also slowed to a stand-still because the electrician hasn’t completed all the wiring here.  Eventually the ceiling will get topped off as well as the remaining walls. Hopefully, after insulation is placed under the floor, this entire space will be warm enough. It’s a common Finnish design to have these porches as a way to lock out the cold. – Entering the porch before continuing your eventual entry into the main-house.

Throughout the day today temperatures have slowly been sinking where they are forecast to settle at nearly -18c by morning. Late yesterday evening we picked up a noticeable amount of fresh snow which does a good job of making everything fantasy-like, while also obscuring all traces of the thick ice sheet that covers everything underneath! It’s a dangerous time to do much casual walking about without the risk of falling on one’s keester! But that aside, Pekka and I ventured outside for a short hike in the woods.


looking up from under


snowing and blowing. Tykkylumi. A condition of too much snow and cold on small tree branches… it causes this


snowy oak leaves


big riding-hood in the forest. 🙂

I think I’m supposed to be applying some thermal tape in the sauna, so I better get to that before all the daylight is gone.

All the best from Vanha Talo Suomi ❤